At the very least 15 individuals died in preventing in Myanmar following the decision for an rebellion | World information
From GRANT PECK, Associated Press
BANGKOK (AP) – Fifteen to 20 villagers, including several teenage students, have been killed in some of the deadliest fighting in Myanmar between government forces and resistance forces since July, a villager said and reports in independent media said on Friday.
Fighting near Gangaw Township in the northwestern Magway region began Thursday, two days after the National Unity Government, an opposition organization that aims to coordinate resistance to military rule, called for a nationwide uprising.
The fighting broke out when more than 100 soldiers in four military vehicles arrived to secure the area in Myin Thar and five other nearby villages, an Associated Press resident told the Associated Press by phone.
Members of a lightly armed village self-defense militia fired warning shots but were unable to prevent soldiers from entering the area and the clashes continued afterwards, said the local resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity to ensure his personal safety.
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The opposition movement that rose against the army seizure of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February was peaceful at first, but gradually began to fight back after security forces used lethal force to disperse nonviolent protests.
Tuesday’s call by the National Unity Government for a “people’s war of defense” received an enthusiastic response on social media, but its real impact on the ground is difficult to measure.
Media sympathizing with the opposition reported an outbreak of small shootings and sabotage by the resistance, in particular the collapse of cell phone masts.
But similar activities have been going on for several months and details are difficult to independently verify.
The villager describing the new fighting said at least 11 members of the self-defense group were killed, as others in his village told him. Photos of their bodies circulated widely on the internet Friday and were clear enough to be identifiable to those familiar with them.
“We only have hand-made weapons and firearms with percussion locks,” said the villager. “When it rained, the guns became useless. There are many casualties due to the arms imbalance. ”Myanmar’s government forces are well equipped with modern weapons and have access to air and artillery support.
The villager said other residents told him that most of the village’s defense forces were teenagers and that five of those killed were 9th and 10th grade students. A middle school teacher is also said to have been killed, said the villager.
Members of more than 2,000 households in the area have fled to the jungle, he added, while soldiers camped in abandoned houses and at the local Buddhist monastery. Four more people were confirmed dead after fighting broke out again Friday morning, he said, and an unknown number of houses were burned down.
Independent media reports put the death toll among villagers at 20 or more. Khit Thit Media, an online news service, said villagers had said that in addition to the militants, seven non-combatants were among the dead.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent organization that keeps detailed records of those killed or detained by the military government, 1,058 activists and passers-by have been killed since the army came to power in February.
The government said this week that resistance forces were responsible for the deaths of 933 people, Popular News reported, citing Deputy Home Secretary General Soe Tint Naing.
In a briefing for foreign diplomats on Thursday, which was also attended by the intelligence service, Soe Tint Naing said those killed were security guards, officials and people whom the resistance believes are government informants.
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